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HR data would need to be stored by all organisations due to either legal requirements or internal purposes. This report will uncover types of data and methods of storing them. The last segment of the report will cover legislations that affect HR data as ‘there is a substantial and complex amount of EU and UK legislation that has an impact upon the retention of personnel and other related records’(Retention of HR records, 2013)
Why Collect HR Data
HR data can be collected for various reasons in an organisation. There are two reasons listed below: Productivity: appraisals records are collected so that managers can assess the productivity of their staff and team. It can also be useful for employees to know their potential within the team and can use it for their career progression. Legal Compliance: Payroll data would be important for the HM Revenue and Customs to calculate taxes whereas health and safety records can help the company to improve their environment and allow them to be compliant with the Health and Safety Act. Also certain data can be used as evidence in any legal proceedings that the company may have to face.
Types of HR Data and how it supports HR
‘Monitoring records enables personnel to amend or reformulate policies and procedures.’(Personnel data and record keeping, 2011) Below are 2 types of data that HR collects: Recruitment and Selection- records on staff turnover and vacancies can be important for HR as it informs them when and for which team to recruit for and also allows them to see the trend in each team depending on its staff turnover. This would also include appraisal records which would inform them if an employee or team needs training. Absence Data-the absence reports, complied from the absence data gives HR an indication of which department is suffering most from high absentees and allows them to rethink the working patterns. It also helps them to calculate the cost of absenteeism to the organisation.
Data Storage and its Benefits
Data can be stored in several methods. However, below are 2 key methods which can be used along with their benefits. 1. Manual / Paper based- keeping records on paper in a filing cabinet Files cannot be destroyed with any virus
Information can be accessed without any password restrictions Members do not need to be PC literate to find data
2. Computerised filing
More than one user can access the information at the same time Large volumes of data can be stored and accessed easily Data can be used to compile reports and identify trends with the latest programmes on computer Most companies prefer their records to be stored electronically as it is efficient and easily accessible. However, there are certain companies which use both methods as certain records do not need to be stored for a longer period of time, hence can be filed away in cabinets. Essential UK legislations relating to recording, storing and accessing HR data There are several legislations that affect the retention of HR data. Below are two such legislations.
Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA)
DPA applies to most HR records, whether held in paper or on computer. DPA controls how personal information of living individuals is used by organisations, businesses or the government. It came into force on March 2000. There are 8 data protection principles the data controller needs to comply to in order to handle data correctly:
1. ‘adequate, relevant and not excessive
2. fairly and lawfully processed
3. processed for limited purposes
5. not kept for longer than is necessary
6. processed in line with your rights
8. not transferred outside EU without adequate protection’ (Employment Law FAQ, 2013) Every company that processes personal information must be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), unless they are exempt. The ICO, which is UK’s independent supervisory authority, ensures that the DPA as well as other data protection/retention legislations are followed by organisations and it can prosecute them for not doing so.
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI)
The FOI came into force on January 2005. It gives the public a right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, however there are few exceptions to these right as not all personal records can be obtained by public, such records can be requested under the DPA. Government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces are few of the public authorities.
This report explains that recording and storing data is very important. Every company has a different method and reason of storing data; however, handling data correctly is important for all. There are several legislations that can affect the data retention and not complying with these legislations can have an adverse effect on the company’s reputation.
CIPD, 2013.Retention of HR Records.[online] Available at: www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets [Accessed 13 June 2014] ACAS, 2011. Personnel data and record keeping.[online] Available at: www.acas.org.uk [Accessed 12 June 2014] CIPD 2013. DP04: What is data protection and what are the eight data protection principles?.[online] Available at: www.cipd.co.uk [Accessed 17 June 2014]
Analysing Absence Data in Examinations Team
The report includes findings and analysis of different reasons of absence within an Examinations Team from May-December in 2013. The final segment of the report concludes the analysis along with recommendations to overcome the core reasons of absence.
Absence Level in Examinations Team
There are two apparent findings from the graph (data in appendix 1), the high levels of absence from May-June due to stress and from October- December due to viral problems: May-June: due to peak season of exams, the examinations team is required to do ample preparations from planning, supervising and marking exams to attending board meetings. This therefore, becomes very stressful for the team as ‘the most common cause of stress…is workload’ (Barometer of HR Trends and Prospects, 2013) and as each person is only trained in their individual role there are issues of ‘presenteeism’. October-December: during this season many people fall sick due to bad weather. However, the outbreak of the Norovirus in 2013 could also be the reason for the viral problems to increase. Also, due to Christmas parties in December it further causes the virus to spread from contaminated food.
The study indicates that stress and viral issues were two implications the examinations team suffered from in 2013.Stress is a common issue in several workplaces as mentioned in the Absence Management report by CIPD and it can be costly. To overcome the issue, two possible recommendations are:
1. Hire temporary staff during busy period
2. Train team members to share workload and prevent presenteeism, where employees feel forced to come into work.
1. Give free flu vaccination to employees
2. Communicate awareness regarding the virus
Appendix 1: Number of Employees Absent by Reasons in 2013
(a) Musculoskeletal- back, neck and other muscle pain
(b) Ear, Nose, Dental pain and skin disorder
BPP. (2013).Appendix 1 of Number of Employees Absent by Reasons in 2013. London: BPP CIPD, 2013.barometer of HR trends and prospects 2013.[online] Available at: www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/survey-reports[Accessed 18June 2014]